A few weeks ago, I was on Amazon in search of something that would help me connect with my eating habits, while also giving me advice on how to change those habits. Hundreds of books popped up, from compulsive overeating to emotional eating, but one book stood out. I liked the cover, loved the title, and was impressed with the reviews.
I purchased How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too that moment and have been reading it on my iPhone ever since.
After starting the book I became so frustrated with dieting (what’s new). Everything Josie shares in her book makes perfect sense! What it all really boils down to is A. only eating when you’re hungry and B. stopping when you’re satisfied.
The first thing I did a few weeks ago was to give myself permission to eat whatever I wanted. No food was or is off limits. Allowing myself to eat whatever I want has been a challenge mentally. I have enjoyed a lot of foods these past few weeks, and although I didn’t always do the best job of stopping when I was satisfied, it was important for me to get over thinking I couldn’t have certain foods.
I am half way through the book now and have already learned so much. Here are a few things I’ve taken from chapters 1-4 …
1. I binge on what I tell myself I can’t have
“The extent and ferocity with which you binge is directly proportional to the extent to which you restrict what you eat”, Josie states. When I tell myself NO peanut butter, NO sweets, and NO carbs it becomes all my brain can think about and thus I binge on those very foods.
2. Dieting really does make me feel out of control with food
When I lost 50 pounds back in 2007 I had reached a place where I stopped thinking about and being consumed by food. I lived a healthy lifestyle, listened to my body, and stopped dieting…. and guess what, I lost weight! I have never felt more control of my life than at that point.
3. I hate living in a state of either dieting or breaking my diet
“Studies show that when individuals start eating by external rules and restrictions (aka dieting), the likelihood that they’ll overeat in response to breaking a rule skyrockets. Once you start eating according to arbitrary rules, you can only ever be in one or two possible states at any given time: on your diet, or breaking your diet.”
4. “Diets don’t model naturally thin people”
This is SO true and let me tell you, I know quite a few skinny/healthy people and they eat way better than I do on a diet. They eat what they want, they listen to their bodies, and they DO NOT OVEREAT! While I’m sitting there eating a huge salad topped with grilled chicken they are enjoying 1 piece of pizza and a side salad… It’s all about moderation and eating only when hungry.
5. Change is NOT linear
There will be ups and there will be downs, but I truly believe that it if you’re moving forward you’ll reach your goals.
I’ve spent the past two weeks breaking down the walls of restriction and am now focusing on only eating when I’m hungry and stopping myself when I’m satisfied.
Here’s a look at yesterday’s eats for instance…
7:30AM – coffee with creamer (I was not hungry, so I waited to eat)
11:00AM – 26 almonds
12:30PM – Tofu and summer squash
3:30PM – 1/2 iced skim vanilla latte
4:30PM – 10 small pretzels
6:00PM – 2 whole wheat tortillas, 1 cup of ground turkey taco mixture (ground turkey, seasoning, green chilies, and pinto beans), and 3 tbsp sour cream
9:45PM – Frozen yogurt
Was it a perfect day of eats?? Not really, but I ate only when I was hungry and stopped when I was full! I’m really taking it one day at a time, allowing myself to learn from what I’m reading and am trying really hard not to get too far ahead of myself.
My first step was to stop restricting myself. My second step has been to focus on eating only when hungry and to stop when satisfied. And my next step will be to think wisely about what I’m eating when I am hungry.
It’s a process and although I feel like I’ve been all over the place this year, I’m really learning a lot. “Change is not linear!”